Dispute over seat in fast food chain leads to woman pulling out her gun

What started as an argument over a seat in line at a fast food restaurant in a mall food court ended with a woman firing her handgun.

A woman and at least three other women got into a fight yesterday over a seat at a Five Guys fast food restaurant at the King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania. The lone woman moved to the side to wait for her food when two women from the group approached her and started arguing again.

She told police she felt threatened and thought they were about to attack her, so she pulled a handgun from her purse and pointed it at the women. A witness reported that she told them to back off and that she would shoot them.

Both women stepped back and the woman who pulled out the handgun put it back in her purse. Another argument ensued, but she didn’t draw her gun again.

The incident caused nearly 100 people to flee the area, but no one was injured.

The police reacted quickly and took the woman who had drawn her handgun into custody. The woman has a valid Pennsylvania Concealed Carry Permit, and the police said she would not be charged.

On the face of it, you might say there’s no justification for pulling a handgun over an argument over a seat in line at a fast food restaurant. But there is something called the disparity of forces.

Power mismatch is defined as a situation that any reasonable person would believe would place you at a crushing disadvantage in your efforts to protect yourself from immediate and serious bodily harm. Recognize that there is no law of disparity of forces.

Since the police aren’t charging him, I can only assume that’s what the police think happened here. Two or more women against one would certainly put the single woman at a disadvantage to protect herself. Obviously, she felt like she was about to be attacked by several women and pulled out her gun to defend herself.

That said, do we really need to argue over a place in line at a food court? No. We talk about it all the time, but if you’re carrying a gun, you need to be more responsible for your actions. I know people will say something like, “So you’re supposed to let someone line up?” “In my opinion, yes. I don’t want to get into a pointless argument with someone I don’t know until it escalates to the point where I may have to draw my gun to defend myself.

Just because you carry a gun doesn’t make you the fast food line police. I’m not saying that’s exactly what happened here. We don’t know how the argument started. But the best option here is to defuse the situation or walk away. It’s just not worth it.

De-escalation: an essential skill for self-defense

About Walter Bartholomew

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